Knowledge is very important to a concept like criminology that is both empirically and theoretically based. However, it cannot be avoided that in certain aspect criminology may lack specific necessities especially in some countries where the criminal justice system is rather not yet fully developed. The development of the aspect of criminology is very important in addressing criminality and crimes.
The effectiveness of the justice system, particularly of the criminal justice system is greatly dependent on the comprehensiveness and stability of criminology.
In Britain, knowledge is equally acknowledged as an important aspect of criminology. Thus, knowledge has been constructed in the British criminology since the year 1960 (Soothill & Peelo, 2007). Criminologists recognized the importance of research Exercises and citations in their jobs in order to establish authority and legal basis (Soothill & Peelo, 2007). Criminology According to the British Society of Criminology (2005), criminology is both a theoretical and an empirical discipline that draws on the range of human and social science disciplines.
The British Society of Criminology (2005) likewise added that at the heart of criminology “are theoretical debates about a wide range of perspectives”. According to them, criminology should emphasize the relevance of a firm and strong knowledge base to serve as evidence and basis for its theories and for the evaluation of the crime control policies (British Society of criminology, 2005). Strong knowledge base on this aspect is very important because it ensures that there are reasonably reliable pieces of evidence that has been consulted during the judicial enquiry.
However, it is believed that in pursuing these values, it is necessary that a lively debate should be nurtured that employs both qualitative and quantitative data in a dialogue between a range of methodological and theoretical perspectives (British Society of Criminology, 2005). Criminology should ensure that a premature foreclosure of this dialogue be not resorted to favoring certain sub-discipline fields, either endorsed by state officials, the mass media, or by fashions of academic thought (British Society of Criminology, 2005).
Criminology is also empirically concerned with the “processes of criminalization and victimization; and the causes and organization of crime and deviance” (British Society of Criminology, 2005). In criminology, it is important that criminologists have the necessary knowledge in relation to criminality so that they can identify crimes, treats the same and provide for punishments. This is very important because if criminologists do not have the proper knowledge, they may not readily recognize a crime once they encounter the same, hence failure to address it.
Criminology is also concerned with the “process of managing crime, deviance, and victimization, including policing, criminal justice and penalty, community safety and less formal means of addressing criminality (British Society of Criminology, 2005). For criminologists, in order for them to effectively handle and address criminality and decrease crime rates, they should be able to crimes under the authority of police power and the corresponding function of a judicial authority.
For example, as criminology includes policing, it is important that the criminologists know the rules and laws governing the proper execution of the power of a police officer. He should make sure that rights are not violated in the process. As a social discipline, criminology is constantly changing with its subject fast-moving both in theory and methodological development. The changes correspond with the equally fast changes in the social environment.
Moreover, the change is due to the system’s intention to capture the changes and interaction of ideas into a more complex methodological dialogue about its relevance to the social life. In its modern form, criminology is characterized by issues on how to: • “Operationalize its theories in conducting research” (British Society of Criminology, 2005) – the changes may be necessary so that new ideas and criminological concepts may be formulated through research.
The debates are important because they determine the endless possibilities in relation to the application of criminology in social life. Criminology is concerned on how research and knowledge can be used n order to make effective criminology itself. For example, criminology is important in order to conduct and study specific occurrences in relation to criminality and deviance; • “Explain its subject matter” (British Society of Criminology, 2005) – Knowledge in relation to criminology is likewise important in order to understand its nature and applicability.
Criminology endeavors to make its own extent comprehensive and understandable by the public so that they can be consulted in cases of incidents its application may be necessary; • “inform the debates over crime control policy; the links between criminal and social justice, and the expanding knowledge bases of the crime and justice related professions” (British Society of Criminology, 2005) – Modern criminology is a way to provide the public with knowledge base on how social justice may be promoted and how rights may be protected even in cases of criminal infringements.
It should be noted however that under criminology, by concept of social justice in relation to crimes should mean that criminology should comprehend all aspects of social justice even as it involves the criminal. Criminology, as a knowledge base is used by legal and justice related professionals in the pursuance of social justice and the treatment of crimes. According to the British Society of Criminology (2005), as a changing academic discipline, its knowledge base should necessarily change to address the corresponding changes in its environment.
“As such, the importance attached to different classical and contemporary theories will continually change” (British Society of Criminology, 2005). The changes in the “classical and contemporary theories also requires changes in theories and application in the various areas of criminological enquiry (British Society of Criminology, 2005). Moreover, “such new areas may also be generated by changing political and social concerns, or by changes within another discipline, such as philosophy” (British Society of Criminology, 2005).
For example, the constant change in criminology may be brought about by technological advancements. As new technologies and device are created, corresponding laws relating to specific acts may be enacted in order to identify criminality of specific acts in relation to these advancements, which in the past may not be covered by law or criminological precedents. Specifically, as has been experienced, many scrupulous machinations have been resorted to by some criminals in order to avoid prosecution because certain acts may not be covered by a law that penalizes crimes.
In the case of crimes related to the Internet, many have escaped prosecution because past laws do not cover acts committed through and via the Internet. “Criminology, like all social sciences, is both theoretically and evidence based that requires the comprehension of specific issues” (British Society of Criminology, 2005). The importance of knowledge base in criminology has prompted the British Society of Criminology (2006) to create the Code of Ethics for researchers in the Field of Criminology.
This is because of the fact that it is the researchers who gather and make use of the knowledge as a product of their research and used in the judicial inquiry. Among others, the Code serves as guidance to researchers in the field of criminology to aid them “in keeping with the aims of the society to value and promote the highest ethical standards in criminological research” (British Society of Criminology, 2006).
According to this Code, and as a guiding principle of the British Society of Criminology, “researchers should ensure that research is undertaken to the highest methodological standard and the highest quality in order that maximum possible knowledge and benefits accrue to the society” (British Society of Criminology, 2006). The Code ensures that researchers only gather the most credible and highest standard of knowledge in order to establish a sound criminal justice system. The aspect of criminology should be ensured to be given that taint of authority and credibility so that the people can develop trust and confidence to its concept.
Specifically, according to the British Society of Criminology (2006), the researcher has the following responsibilities: General Responsibilities The researcher should endeavor to: 1. “Advance knowledge about criminological issues” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – as criminal researchers, it is their responsibility to ensure that they accumulate a sustained knowledge base with comprehensive application to cover the various criminological issues and its relationship to each other.
For example, researchers, in tackling a criminal issue should consider it in relation to specific laws and its relationship to any other issues and laws that may somehow be directly or indirectly affect its applicability and outcomes. This can be explained in the various aspects of criminology as in the case of policing as it relates to the crime busting and crime punishment. In policing, researchers should not only provide knowledge that pertain to policing but on how to execute this authority in connection with the rights of the people and the rights of the public being protected.
2. “Identify and seek to ameliorate factors which restricts the development of their professional competence and integrity” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – As researchers undergo research, criminological knowledge should also be accumulated that provides guidance on how restrictions may be avoided and the full application of this knowledge can be attained. Researchers should also identify how they can improve their competence and the reliability and credibility of criminology by giving knowledge and criminology with known integrity;
3. “Seek appropriate experience or training to improve their professional competence, and identify and deal with any factors which threaten to restrict their professional integrity” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – In criminology, criminologists and researchers should endeavor to improve competence by undergoing trainings and continuous improvement and enhancement of knowledge and qualities that can help improve criminology through improved knowledge base derived from meaningful research; 4.
“Refrain from laying claim, directly or indirectly, to expertise in areas of criminology which they do not have” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – as researchers tasks with the gathering of criminological knowledge, they should avoid assumptions and the incorporation of personal views and opinions that are not validated and unsupported by actual facts and information. For example, in the judicial inquiry, it is important that the research provide information so that the proper authorities can come up with a decision regarding a controversy through validated precedents and established facts;
5. “Take all reasonable steps to ensure that their qualifications, capabilities or views are not misrepresented by others” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – sometimes the quality of the criminological knowledge is dependent on how it is presented and fed to the people and those intended to use the same. In this regard, researchers should endeavor to provide criminological knowledge that are well organized and understandable, avoiding vagueness and allow for not biased interpretations;
6. “Correct any misrepresentations and adopt the highest standards in all their professional relationships with institutions and colleagues whatever their status” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – misrepresentations, should, at all times be avoided to maintain the highest standard of criminological knowledge formed only by information provided by proper authorities and backed up with supporting evidence and justification;
7. “Respect their various responsibilities as outlined in the Code” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – in order for the researcher to be able to recognize and comprehend the various knowledge available, he should comply with all the rules and ethical standards being imposed by the Code; 8.
“Keep up to date with ethical and methodological issues in the field, for example by reading research monographs and participating in training events” (British Society of Criminology, 2006) – researchers should ensure the quality and integrity of the criminological knowledge by adhering to ethical principles that will attach credibility to the research process, the researchers and the outcomes; 9. “Check the reliability of their sources of information, in particular when using the internet” (British Society of Criminology, 2006).
Responsibilities towards the Discipline of Criminology In addition to these general responsibilities, they also have responsibilities to others in the practice under the same field. He has the responsibility to promote advancement and effectiveness of information dissemination and to protect intellectual and professional freedom (British Society of Criminology, 2006). He can do this by acknowledging the various research processes and the authenticity and the integrity of knowledge.
In addition, he also has the responsibility to promote conducive environment and relationship with other professionals and the environment because this will dictate the quality of knowledge and criminology as a whole. “More specifically, researchers should promote free and independent inquiry into criminological matters and unrestricted dissemination of criminological knowledge” (British Society of Criminology, 2006). Unrestricted dissemination of criminological knowledge is important in the determination of the quality and applicability of the knowledge in relation to various aspects of criminology.
“Researchers should endeavor to ensure that the methodology employed and the research findings are open for discussion and peer review” (British Society of Criminology, 2006). This respects the functions of other professionals and allow for checks and balances and the review of the reliability of the information. In the process, it can improve the quality of the information because other minds can be consulted with their own views and research incorporated to the knowledge base. Development of British Criminology
The development of British criminology has been discussed in a number of instances by various authors and scholars expert to their respective fields of criminology. For example, in his book, Tierney discussed the development of criminology in relation to the various cultural and societal influences that had shaped it. For example, he discussed how American criminology has affected and shaped the British criminology by providing a well-organized discussion of the various influences in the various stages of the development of British criminology.
In Maguire, Morgan & Reiner: The Oxford Handbook of Criminology, it is said that the history of criminology is perhaps too complex to be captured in a single text; however, despite its comprehensive and compendious relevance, collections of books and writings did a good job in outlining its development and its areas of descent and growth as it is discussed in the books, The Origins and Growth of Criminology by Piers Beirne and The History of Criminology by Paul Rock
After which, a series of studies have been conducted headed by Michael Foucalt (1977) in his work Discipline and Punish wherein he analyzed and discussed the role of power knowledge in relation to the various disciplinary and governmental institutions. Meanwhile, in an other essay authored by Pasquale Pasquino entitled, The Invention of criminology: Birth of a Special Savior; and The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality by Burchell, Gordon and Miller, they discussed criminal delinquent as a new subject for scientific and administrative issue in the nineteenth-century Europe.
They view the development of criminology as a necessary aspect of a society to address delinquencies. Criminology is important in the administration of justice and the treatment of delinquent behavior. In addition, in the work, Punishment and Welfare: A History of Penal Strategies (1985), it was discussed the developing criminological aspect anchored and revolving around the penal-welfare institutions in Britain as the twentieth century culminates.
Other than these works, there are other meaningful accounts on the development of criminology in Britain like Radsinowicz’ memoir, Adventures in Criminology (1999) as well as Clarke and Cornish’s (1983), “Crime Control in Britain: A Review of Policy Research, which among others discussed the development of Home Office. Cohen on the other hand offers a sociological analysis of the post-war developments in relation to British Criminology; while Fitzgerald, McLeenan and Pawson (1981) discussed the intellectual tensions that affected the British criminology especially during the period of the 1960s and 1970s.
In Sumner’s (1994), The Sociology of Deviance: An Obituary, he laid down an extended history of the sociology of deviance in critical analysis with the issue of criminology. The contemporary aspect of the development of British criminology are further discussed by Nelken (1994) and Holdaway and Rock (1998). According to Newburn and Vagg (1998), it was only ten years since the first British Criminology Conference and much has changed from that time. Initially, at about 1987, many criminological researches were carried out by a small number of researchers and their works are often the sole representative of criminological inquiry.
This only means that with this system, criminological knowledge in solving crimes is limited. In addition, knowledge may not always be that comprehensive and reliable. It was then possible that mistakes may continue on to court decisions without verification. As a result, judicial inquiry may have outcomes that may be of poor legal basis. But now, criminology and criminologists proliferate (Newburn, & Vagg, 1998). The development of criminology in Britain underwent an elusive transformation through the combined efforts of numerous criminologists and judicial authorities.
It helped in the improvement of the criminal justice system and the aspect of criminology in the country especially with the fact that many criminologists can readily ignore writing that are more than fifteen years old, “with evident consequences for the public presentation and validation of expert knowledge” (Soothill, & Peelo, 2007). However, it should be noted that as a discipline that constantly change, writings in support of judicial enquiry should also be updated. Writings that are more than fifteen years old may not be as credible as the contemporary views.
In this regard, criminology and criminological research is very important so that this deficiency may be addressed. This is the reason why criminological knowledge is very important especially in the treatment of crimes. The quality of criminological knowledge determines the quality of criminologists and the quality of crime related policies in a society. “Criminology, like all social sciences, is both theoretically and evidence based that requires the comprehension of specific issues” (British Society of Criminology, 2005).
In this regard, criminological knowledge ensures that it is presented with reliable and verified evidence to support its applicability and its relevance to specific issues. References British Society of Criminology. (2005). Criminology Benchmarks. Retrieved January 9, 2008, from www. c-sap. bham. ac. uk/subject_areas/criminology/Criminology_Benchmarks. doc British Society of Criminology (2006). Code of Ethics for Researchers in the Field of Criminology. Retrieved January 9, 2008, from http://www. britsoccrim. org/ethical.
htm Burchell, G. , Gordon, C. , & Miller, P (1991). The Foucalt Effect: Studies in Governmentality, London:Harvester Wheatsheaf. Clarke, R. V. G. , Cornish, D. (1983). Crime and Control in Britain: A Review of Policy Research. Albany: State University of New York. Cohen, S. (n. d. ). Footprints on the Sand: A Further report on Criminology and the Sociology of Deviance in Britain. Fitzgerald, M. , McLeenan, G. , Pawson, J. (1981). Crime and Society: Readings in History and Theory. London: Routledge. Foucault, M.
(1977). Discipline and Punish. London: Allen Lane. Holdaway, S. , & Rock, P. (1998). Thinking About Criminology. London: UCL Press. Maguire, Morgan & Reiner: The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (n. d. ). Retrieved January 9, 2008, from http://www. oup. com/uk/orc/bin/9780199249374/resources/reading/ch01/ Nelken, D. (1994). The Futures of Criminology. London: Sage. Newburn, T. , & Vagg, J. (1995). The British Criminology Conferences: Selected Proceedings. Retrieved January 9, 2008, from http://www. britsoccrim.
org/volume1/001. pdf Pasquino, P. (n. d. ). The Invention of Criminology: Birth of a Special Savior. Punishment and Welfare: A History of penal Strategies (1985). Aldershot: Gower. Radzinowicz. (1999). Adventures in Criminology. London: Routledge. Soothill, K. , 7 Peelo, M. (2007). Constructing British Criminology. Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 46 (5), 476-492. Sumner, C. (1994). The Sociology of Deviance: An Obituary. Buckingham: Open University Press. Tierney, J. (n. d. ). Criminology: Theory and Context.